Karnataka High Court restrains the government's action on Ola Cabs The State was asked to consider granting permission to the ride-sharing company for running bike taxis The Karnataka High Court has restrained the state government from taking any coercive steps against ANI Technologies, which operates Ola Cabs, for operating bike taxis in the state. The order of the single-judge...
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Karnataka High Court restrains the government's action on Ola Cabs
The State was asked to consider granting permission to the ride-sharing company for running bike taxis
The Karnataka High Court has restrained the state government from taking any coercive steps against ANI Technologies, which operates Ola Cabs, for operating bike taxis in the state.
The order of the single-judge bench of Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur said, "It is needless to mention and it is apparent on the face of the record that the application was filed by the petitioner on 19.04.2021. Pursuant to the order of the writ appeal passed by this court, a clear direction was given to the respondents to consider the application preferred by the petitioner for the grant of the permission to use bike taxis within the state of Karnataka."
It added, "In view of the fact that a similar order has been passed in WP.No.14627/2021, wherein the petitioner was granted interim relief by directing the state government not to take any coercive steps, the petitioner, who is also in the similar business of providing bike taxis, also deserves interim protection in the matter.
"Accordingly, the respondents No.1 to No.4 shall not take any coercive steps as against the petitioner in operating bike taxis, within the area specified by him in the application filed seeking permission, till the next date of hearing."
The company had approached the court, as the government had not considered its application for grant of permission to operate bike taxis, pursuant to the court's order.
In its April 2021 order, the high court had directed the authorities to consider in two months' time and decide on the representation made for the grant of permits for running a motorcycle taxi service in the state.
The petitioners had contended that the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act, 1988, granted certain waivers of conditions. Accordingly, permission was being sought for running a motorcycle taxi being a transport vehicle as per the November 2004 notification.
In 2016, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways submitted the report of the Committee constituted to Propose Taxi Policy Guidelines to Promote Urban Mobility. It provided a specific reference to encourage and permit new forms of urban mobility. These included bike-sharing and e-rickshaws to reduce delays and to embrace the digital technology and an online grant of permits recommended for such vehicles engaged for the last mile connectivity.
While disposing of the appeal, the court said, "A motorcycle could be used for hire to carry one passenger as a pillion. Even as per the Central government notification such a motorcycle would, prima facie, come within the definition of the contract carriage as defined under the MV Act."
It added, "The definition of contract carriage is an inclusive definition, which includes a maxi-cab and a motor-cab notwithstanding that separate fares are charged for its passengers. The definition is not exhaustive. It would include even a motorcycle taxi used for hire or reward on which a passenger could be carried on the pillion."
Since the matter was adjourned for a week, the government pleader sought time to take necessary instructions in the matter as to why the application filed by the petitioner was not being considered.